Look, if it seems like you’re battling a urinary tract infection (UTI) every six months, know this: it’s not your fault.
Some women are just more prone than others. It doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong or lacking hygiene. You have not brought this on yourself.
Recurring UTIs are common and can take a real toll on your life. They are not only physically uncomfortable, but they can eat away at your confidence and mood.
Most women experience a UTI at some point in their lives, and roughly 25–30% see one return within six months.
There are various reasons for this. Post-menopause, the reasons may have to do more with age than anything else. As you get older, you naturally experience a decline in the population of Lactobacilli, a microbe that keeps your urethra and bladder healthy.
Another age-related factor is bladder strength. Contractions are weaker than they used to be, making it more difficult to empty your bladder completely. This can boost the risk of a recurring UTI.
Most UTIs are the result of Escherichia coli, or E.coli, a bacteria that lives in your intestinal tract. They can be carried from the rectum into the vagina where they enter the urethra and infect the bladder.
Lactobacillus helps kill E.coli to keep your bladder healthy. It’s possible that boosting the population of Lactobacillus through diet and supplementation may help reduce the risk for recurring UTI.
You can build the population of these valuable microbes by supplementing with high CFU probiotics and eating foods like kefir, yogurt, papaya, sauerkraut, and pickles. Eating prebiotic high-fiber foods like berries and oats can help grow this population.
Other ways to potentially reduce the risk of recurring UTIs include:
- Drinking 2-3 liters of fluids each day
- Bladder training to help ensure you completely empty your bladder in each urination
- Urinate quickly the following sex
- Consider vaginal estrogen therapy
- Avoid tight underpants and jeans
Speak to your doctor if you’re unable to get a handle on recurring UTIs. Natural preventative measures can help, but they won’t always be effective for everybody.